In the past 20 years, the WWE has experienced two different "eras" in their company: the “Attitude” era and the “PG” era.
The Attitude era was started in the late '90s when the WWE was competing with the WCW for wrestling dominance. The PG era is the more recent move for the WWE to push towards programming that is acceptable for all ages.
Depending on your age, your viewpoint will be biased. I will look at which era is better in certain categories.
The Attitude era provided WWE fans with some of the most memorable matches of all time. This included the Montreal Screwjob, Undertaker vs. Mankind in the Hell in the Cell, casket matches, gruesome hardcore matches, divas matches and great ladder matches, among countless others.
The PG era has utilized most of these same matches but has toned down the violence considerably. Since the WWE is trying to be acceptable for all ages, much of the blood and gore of these matches has been eliminated from programming.
I feel that the athleticism of both eras is present in most of the matches, but the Attitude Era provided more memorable and quality matches over time.
The Attitude era had a roster that included: Stone Cold Steven Austin, The Rock, Bret Hart, D-Generation X, Mick Foley and the Undertaker, among others.
The PG era has a roster that includes: John Cena, CM Punk, Rand Orton, Cody Rhodes, The Miz, The Big Show and Alberto Del Rio, among others.
The WWE will always be able to produce high-quality superstars for its fans. These two eras were no exception. During the late '90s, the WWE had to compete with the WCW for talents as well as fans. I feel the WWE did an exceptional job in catapulting their superstars to elite status. Stone Cold is arguably the most popular superstar in the history of the WWE, and he helped define the era for the company.
The WWE excelled at using their non-wrestling TV time to establish viable characters and feuds.
The PG era has had its share of superstars. John Cena would have to be considered to be the most popular superstar in recent years. He transcends the sport and is truly the company man the WWE needs.
However, the WWE seems to be lacking intriguing feuds recently.
They have eased this deficiency by utilizing Attitude era wrestlers by either making returns or being used in storylines. These include The Rock, Triple H, HBK and Mick Foley.
In the Attitude era, the public view of the WWE was not a great one. With the popularity of wrestling at an all-time high, wrestling fans loved the edgier product, while outsiders looked at the WWE as a form of smut. They viewed the violence, raciness and debauchery as unnecessary.
The PG era has brought the WWE back into the good graces of the public. The WWE will edit over-the-top violence out of their programming (e.g., Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes on Smackdown). They also have become involved in anti-bullying campaigns and other public relations moves. The company has also offered their past superstars rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction.
The PG era has done a lot to change the perception of wrestling by the public at large, which makes sure the WWE is seen as a product safe for people of all ages.
There are many debates you can have regarding the Attitude era vs. the PG Era. People can also compare these to eras to that of the '80s into the early '90s.
Regarding the topics listed, the Attitude era is the clear winner. That time period in wrestling provided fans with memories they will never forget.
Where do you stand on the debate?